Tag Archives: issues

For Christ’s Sake, Stop the Bleeding!

As you may or may not know, I’ve been trying to change / suppress my menstrual cycle through the use of prolonged exposure to the Pill. Unfortunately, it’s not going as well as I would have hoped.

For those who haven’t been exposed to what “period suppression” entails, it’s basically the choice to use birth control pills for 12 weeks, then you take a week off. There’s a new one coming out called Seasonale, but I don’t know how that differs from just staying on any old pill, and I doubt the additional hype is really necessary, since I suspect they’re just playing on the ignorance of the public… as most marketers like to do. One can simply take their pill of choice uninterrupted for 12 weeks and achieve the same end. (Now, don’t be a moron and do this shit without medical supervision, all right? Get approval from your doctor, talk to them about what to look for, then go bravely forth, young bleeder. Now your shit before you act; don’t listen to me or some other person who has no medical training and knows fuck all about the big picture.)

I’ve been on the pill, now, for 9.5 out of my new “12-week” cycle. I’ve already had a full-blown, long period that began 2 weeks ago and lasted 8 days, and today I’ve gotten it again. In between, I was still spotting. So, maybe I’m the odd the one out. Maybe I’m the freak who can’t adjust to the hormonal change. I don’t know. All I do know is, this really blows.

I did, however, ask the Good Doctor about it and he said it’s just my endometirum rebelling. Yeah, well, I wanna get fucking medieval on its ass and quash its little rebellion.

I mean, if I was in a sexually active relationship, this would be really fucking annoying. Fortunately, it’s just me and Fingie these days, so we have an understanding and things are going smoothly, no feelings are hurt, but still. Biology blows, man. I thought so in high school and I still think so now. This fucking ranks up there with dissecting frogs, for god’s sake.

I wanted to cycle to work today, but now I feel like shit, so yet another day is passing without exercise. In retrospect, 2.5 cups of coffee was a bad plan, since coffee really fucks with cramping, but at least I’m awake.

I took my first anti-depressant pill last night, and that was weird. It’s supposed to double as a sleep-aid, so you take it before bed.I had only a half a pill as you’re supposed to start slow to minimize the onset of side effects. Still, it conked me right out. I vaguely remember getting out of bed to go to the washroom, as I’m one of those people, and I staggered there with my head bent down, and slammed into the door jamb. My first reaction was, “Not another fucking concussion,” (I’ve had three) as I stumbled backwards, my head smarting, leaving me feeling like I’d suffered a cartoon injury, with the pain lines radiating out into the darkness.

Naturally, I woke up this morning in a fog. I really hope this isn’t an indicator of what’s to come, because now that I’m on these pills, I’m supposed to remain on them for the next year. That’s just the rule of thumb. (Where in the hell did the saying “rule of thumb” come from, anyhow? Ever wonder? I mean, having opposable thumbs is one of the highlights of my life, to be sure, but I don’t expect my thumb to be the sovereign entity of my life, so I don’t really see it ruling, but perhaps my ignorance is impeding my ability to comprehend this. Hmm.)

Whip Me, Beat Me, Slap Me – Just Don’t Judge Me

While all the good little people were out getting in touch with their god of choice, I was having a lovely Sunday morning watching a BDSM fairytale, Secretary.

I’ve been meaning to see Secretary since its release in 2002, as I’ve been a lifelong fan of James Spader ever since I loved hating him in Pretty in Pink when I was just 13.

I remember being apprehensive about the movie, though, way back in 2002. BDSM, I thought, was largely for Weirdos. I suspect the movie was the first really mainstream movie to introduce the lifestyle to a large percentage of the population who probably walked out of the theatre with a silly grin pasted on their lips. It’s not so bad, they likely thought. A little odd, and weird, but certainly not this horridly perverse thing their churches had them believing it was.

Since then, my eyes have opened. No, I’m not into S&M, though I don’t mind a little smack on my ass from time to time, but I’ll probably never join the movement. I ain’t, however, writing that in stone.

The movie Secretary does not dispel the notion that those who gravitate to this pain-for-pleasure lifestyle tend to be somewhat broken inside. It echoes the common perception that the participants are hurting after a life of shortcomings and trouble, and this is their way of finding a coping mechanism. Control the pain that pains you, and you will control the life around you; this seems to be the prevailing wisdom.

So there are those who scoff at them and scorn them, as if they should find healthier mechanisms for dealing.

Aren’t we all hurting to a degree, though? Don’t we all nurse regrets and fears and wishes and wants? Sure we do. But the rest of us got the magic “All Better Now” button installed when we were manufactured. Or did we? Hmm, perhaps we could use a little coping, too.

And what would you suggest? How about a more socially accepted method? Alcohol to cure to ills? Cocaine’s making a comeback, you know. Perhaps cardio-holism is more your thing. Sweat, then, baby. How about a double-banana split? A bag of Doritos? How about shoplifting a new shade of red lipstick? Say, I hear they have a double-bill at church this weekend.

The point is, we all confront our demons in ways particular to us. The notion of willingly allowing ourselves to be hurt seems to be one that most people can’t handle. It’s not as if life doesn’t bruise us often enough as it is, is what people think.

And, sure, there are some right-fucked sadomasochists out there, but there are also some incredibly well-balanced ones as well. It takes all kinds, just like bowling. The thing is, do you understand why you like to have pain inflicted on you? Are you aware of what it does for you? By that same token, are you aware of why you want sex and romance to be all feathers and soft kisses?

It’s all about self-knowledge, this life thing. The more you know about what motivates you to do what you do, the greater your grasp on things will be. If you’re oblivious, then you’re in trouble. Simple.

I’d argue that the person who likes only the soft love – the gentlest of kisses, the lightest of touches – is equally as mentally ill-equipped as the out-of-touch person who prefers only pain. I’d say that they probably fail to realize just how sheltered they’re trying to be from the harshness of reality, and that they need to wake up and smell the rough sex.

I think anyone who’s only into pain for pleasure, and has no other outlets, is unbalanced. Just like in Secretary, there are plenty who like a little roughness and pain in between the soft kisses and lingering caresses. Balance is good. Experimentation is good. Sticking to vanilla all your life, or just Rocky Road, is probably never a healthy way to go.

There is nothing wrong with loving a little roughness. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to enjoying your lover smacking your ass so hard it’s red when they’re done. There’s simply nothing wrong with liking anything, as long as you understand why you like it, and you’re not just using it to cover up the ills of your existence.

Society doesn’t understand BDSM, and they’re not going to anytime soon, either. Acceptance is increasing, but as long as it’s all the hardcore folk riding front and centre and playing the roles of spokespeople, there will always be a negative perception about the lifestyle.

It is what it is. Enjoy what you do, and know that being discreet doesn’t mean being ashamed; it’s simply self-preservation in a society that just doesn’t understand. Sounds like being gay in the ’40s, don’t it? Oh, well.

Revisiting: "You Can Make Me Come, But…"

I’ve not been in my right mind this week, literally. So, I’m about to do something I don’t often do, which is to qualify and revisit an opinion piece; the one I posted in response to an anonymous question yesterday.

I’m human and flawed at the best of times, but this week I’ve been plagued with migraines, sleeplessness, and a few other symptoms as a result of an acute sinus infection. I’m beginning to get well, thank god, but it’s made me irritable, angry, unpleasant, and really, really bleak for the last few days, and I think it’s been showing a little too readily in some of my writing, and in this piece in particular.

First off, I’m not doing a 180 here, okay? The reader asked if I thought she was a hypocrite for doing everything but sex. No, not for that reason. I think honesty’s the most important facet of any relationship – be it with a parent, lover, friend…honesty’s EVERYTHING.

If you’re not sleeping with someone because you’re nervous, because you think you want to wait, or whatever your flavour is, then be honest. Say that sex is a really, really huge step for you, and you make no promises, and you may even wait until marriage, but that you really don’t know what your sexual future holds for now, and they can’t have any expectations of it, no matter how much you might be enjoying playing with them as you head down the road together. And if it’s confusing for them, tell them it’s far more confusing for you, because you know that’s the truth.

Don’t take the easy way out, don’t choose some simple pat answer like, “I’m waiting until marriage,” when you know deep down inside that’s not what it’s about.

Besides, you’re selling a lot of guys short. No, they may well not wait until marriage, because marriage is a huge, huge thing, but they might wait one hell of a long time for you, and you’re not giving them that opportunity to honestly consider what it is they would or wouldn’t do for you.

It’s such a hard topic, that of when sex is the right move to make. I have no qualms with abstinence until marriage, but whatever the reasons you’re choosing not to have sex, you need to be honest about them. You need to be honest about every aspect of your life, and I truly believe that.

Honesty shouldn’t be some lost virtue, or something we pull out when it’s convenient to us. It’s hard to be honest about our fears and our emotions, and sometimes being honest about them leads to hard places and difficult roads to travel because it can be so damned confusing to admit what lies behind our poker faces, but the cliché of it being the best policy is true for a reason.

It’s only through that honesty with each other that we can face challenges and adversities. If you’re being dishonest, even about something that’s “kind of” true, like waiting for the right person, you’re setting the groundwork for yourself to tell little white lies when it makes things a little easier for you to process.

I disagree with that to the very core of who I am.

Did I handle the question well? No. I’ve been in a really dark place this week and I’ve not been comfortable facing it. I’ve been dealing with things somewhat passive-aggressively, it turns out, and while I have reasoning for it, it doesn’t really excuse it.

And while you have reasoning for stretching the truth, it never excuses it, either. These are the simple truisms behind living a good life, and you are trying to choose how you want to live. Don’t commit one transgression to stave off another. Clearly, by asking the question as you did, you’re already somewhat uncomfortable with how you’re handling the situation, so maybe it’s time to reconsider.

As for abstinence – feeling guilty about it, questioning it… Abstinence is a hard, hard road to choose. You’ll have weak moments. You’ll feel pressured. You’ll feel like you’re alone in a big, sexy world. And if abstinence is really important to you, then you need to be strong and hold your position. Don’t compromise just because of all those pressures out there in that big, scary world. Do it when it’s right for you, because it’s not something you’ll ever get a chance to revisit.

Personally, I thought I waited for the right guy. In the end, we stayed together too long because I didn’t want to admit he wasn’t the right one after all. You need to be aware that waiting for rightness doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve made the right choice, and it may still go wrong, and you may eventually realize you made a mistake, and if/when that should happen, you can’t hold it against yourself. The majority of our relationships are bound to end, and many of those will end badly, and that’s why they say that all is fair in love and war; because sometimes love is war. Sometimes it’s wrong. So, if you’re holding out, be realistic, and know that your intentions are what counts, not the end result of your actions… if that makes any sense.

Anyhow. I wanted to edit that piece as soon as I posted it, but my mindset had gone to a darker place and I couldn’t conjure the genuine sentiment I needed to do the job right. I hope I have now. For whatever it’s worth, sorry it was harsh. I still agree with some of what I said, but I wish I’d said it better.

Q & A: “You Can Make Me Come, But We Can’t Fuck”

I was sent the following question in a comment this morning, and yes, they were right, it is an interesting topic to write about. Time’s not on my side today, so this is a quick take on the question… a question that could unleash some interesting discussion, and I hope it does.

I decided that I want to wait until marriage to have sex, but I’m still a chronic masturbator and ok with doing stuff with guys that doesn’t involve penis-in-vagina sex. I guess I just don’t really trust anyone enough to go “all the way” with them. Do you think I’m a hypocrite?

You want the short answer? Yep, I do think you’re a hypocrite, more or less. Thanks for putting words in my mouth.

There is nothing that makes me snicker more than religious types (which I don’t know if you are one or not) who tell me they’re abstaining from sex until marriage, but that they’ve done nearly everything except things involving penetration.

It’s the same reason why Bill Clinton was lambasted for claiming he “did not have sexual relations with that woman!” I mean, come on. You’ll get them off, they’ll get you off, but when it comes to insertion, you’re gonna play the morality card? What the fuck is that?

Oral sex, manually-induced orgasms, it’s all intimacy, and it’s all banned off primetime TV, all right? It ain’t for the kiddies and the after-school special, y’know?

If you’re not comfortable having sex for one reason or another, fine, but be honest about why you’re not. Don’t claim you’re some sanctimonious person waiting for the right person or whatever. Admit that you’re scared. Admit you have trust issues (which you have done here).

It’s all right be to scared, but don’t cover it up with some vow of chastity. Don’t run from the situation just because you haven’t got the sack to ante up and face it. I think it’s dishonest to be chronically masturbating, allowing men to get you off, trading favours, but then claiming you’re “abstaining” from sex. Why? What’s the point? You’re already doing all the intimate things a person can do. You’re already investing in carnal pleasures. You’re already sinning in the eyes of most religions.

It’s the sexual equivalent of someone being issued a restraining order for not going within 100 metres of X person/place, and instead of just staying the fuck away, they stand day in and day out at a distance of 101 metres, toying with the allowed limits. How is that possibly honouring the spirit of the situation? It’s not. It’s a crock, is what it is.

I could be all nice and say, “Oh, I understand the ambivalence of not having sex,” and all that, but honestly, you’re already feeling guilty and like you’re breaking some code, or else YOU wouldn’t have asked if you’re being a hypocrite. If you have to ask, then you are. Pretty simple.

If you were abstaining from sex and not letting men finger you, not masturbating, not exploring oral, then you would not be a hypocrite.

But, you, honey, are a hypocrite, any way you slice it. I’m sorry if the truth hurts, but it is what it is.

You’re scared of intimacy, you’re hoping like hell you’re being Just Good Enough to be virtuous, and you know, deep down inside, that you wish you could be fucked silly, but you don’t have the courage or the backbone to go there, because you’re scared that once you give them what they’re really wanting, that they’ll walk right on out on you.

And maybe, just maybe, they will. And maybe, just maybe, those fears are valid.

When it comes to morality, religion doesn’t tend to offer shades of grey. Things are sins, or they are not, and you don’t get to have the decoder ring to decide just how much of one particular action equates a sin. It doesn’t work that way. So, if you’re toying with it anyhow, why not just fucking buy the full-meal deal and get on with it? You’ve not started to go up in flames with the fires of Hell licking all around you yet, so what are you so scared of?

Again, I don’t know if religion plays a part in your decision, so the “you” in regards to anything religious is rhetorical, not specifically YOU.

I just wish people were more honest about their actions, and this duplicitous “well, you can get me off, but you can’t come inside of me” behaviour is symptomatic of all the hypocrisy that surrounds us. I grow tired of it, that’s all.

(Feeling that I may have sounded a little harsh in this post, I decided to revisit it, as I know there are some “virgins” out there who are trepidatious about their sexuality, and I don’t want to add too much fuel to that fire. Check out my second take here.)

Here’s to the Forty Percent

Masturbation is a sin. If you do it, you will never be able to be satisfied by your lover. If you do it, you will become addicted to it and will never be able to control yourself, even in public. If you do it, you will be a dirty woman. If you do it, everyone will be able to tell. If you do it, you will never be forgiven in God’s eyes.

If you step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back. If you cross your fingers, it’s not really a lie. If you kill a spider, it will rain.

If you believe in the above misconceptions about masturbation, you might as well believe in superstitions, myths, and anything you read in Harry Potter, for it’s all equally grounded in fiction.

Do you really want to know what masturbation is? It’s the physical manifestation of the search for your own inner beauty. It’s relying on yourself to provide yourself with the pleasure that you may never receive from anyone else. It’s about developing the kind of self-knowledge you need in order to really become a lover of any consequence. It’s a tool for discovering what works and doesn’t work in the love department for you, because every single body responds differently to touch. How does yours respond, do you really know?

But most of all, it’s okay. It’s all right.

What’s shameful isn’t the act of masturbation. What’s shameful is that you’re being made to feel as if you’re still subjective to men, that you still need a man to be the woman you deserve to be. What’s wrong is the flagrant abuse of power and authority these people have committed when they’ve told you these lies about what masturbation is. What’s disgusting is this endless sense of embarrassment you’re expected to have about your body, and the lack of knowledge you’ve been provided.

What’s empowering is the realization that all we’re talking about is the sense of touch. That’s it, that’s all. There is no deity from on high that will strike you down for a stroke of your own flesh. I know, because I’ve yet to be turned into a lightning rod for the Almighty’s wrath, and the Lord’s had as many opportunities to smite me as I’ve had to wash my hair. I kid you not.

You will never get “too good” at masturbating. You will never exceed your limit. It will increase your ability to orgasm with your lover, no matter how many times you come alone. You will not be stigmatized if the world ever finds out. You will not get so addicted that you lock yourself in your room and never come out.

You will, though, learn to feel better about yourself. You’ll be better at managing your stress. You’ll be more confident when you’re displaying affection for your lover. You’ll develop curiousity about more sexual experiences. You will have a more open mind. You will better know how to be satisfied, and if or when you’re ready to share that with your lover, you might be astounded at how happy he (or she) is you’re able to help him (or her) better please you.

This lack of support, in the media or otherwise, for the notion of a woman pleasing herself is one of the last major hurdles we, as a sex, must overcome. It is time we demand what we deserve – a sense of self, and a sense of satisfaction.

If you don’t ever want anyone to know, then they don’t have to find out. You can keep it to yourself, and maybe one day you’ll want to share that with your lover, or maybe you won’t. But don’t deny yourself, not one minute longer. Don’t allow shame to control your life. Don’t allow others to make you feel you need to be judged by a higher power. Don’t allow them to tell you that you must continue labouring under the insecurity you’re so clearly feeling.

There are those who tell us that it’s a sin. Is it? Really? Is your perception of your god one that would leave you believing that he/she/it wants you to be less than completely in love with yourself? Do you believe he/she/it wants you to not feel beautiful, attractive, desired? Why would the creator have made the clitoris within arm’s reach? Why not just have the vaginal canal, instead, which isn’t exactly a convenient distance to reach with ease? You want to talk Intelligent Design, then let’s talk about how much we’re designed to please ourselves. Let’s talk about how masturbation and orgasms are the best kind of physical releases, best outlets for stress, that anyone in any condition can engage in.

In the movie Pleasantville, Joan Allen hears about masturbation for the first time in her life in her 40s. She runs herself a hot bath, gets in, starts to stroke herself, and she suddenly changes from a black & white character to a Technicolor character (literally). She explodes with pleasure, feeling the first orgasm of her life, and is overcome with waves of love – for herself. It transforms her as a woman. She awakens to her female desire and learns that she can be her own everywoman, that being subservient to the men in her life isn’t making her who she wants to be, that what she’s been looking for all these years has really been inside her for all that time. She learns that she has entitlements to her own happiness, and that she can now ensure that happiness by just showing a little tenderness towards herself.

It’s a sad thing that we’re taught, as a culture, that happiness comes from the people around us. It can’t. We can’t wait for others to enrich our lives. We can’t hope that the things they do or say will contribute to who we are to become. We must achieve that on our own, and if masturbation is a tool towards that, then I’m all about me.

As a society here in North America, we’re suffering from an all-time high touch-deficit. Meaning, more people than ever before go for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years without touching another person – be it a pat on the shoulder or a kiss on the lips. We’re so deprived already, that the notion of not allowing yourself to be personally pleasured through masturbation is nearly cruel and inhumane, and self-inflicted, at that. No one deserves to be alone, and no one should have to live without having that feeling of coming alive through an orgasm.

It’s not dirty, or shameful, or sinful. It’s a beautiful, empowering act. And sometimes, it’s just a damned nice thing to experience.

Take back control of your sexuality. Learn about yourself. Live a little. Ditch the shame. Embrace your femininity. Push the magic button that’ll change everything you feel about yourself. It’s the first step to becoming the woman you always wanted to be: Strong, sexy, confident, and self-aware.

For first-timers, instructions are here.

The struggle to love one’s self

I am imperfect. Maybe it’s a newsflash to you, but it’s something I’ve been far too aware of for my entire life.

As a kid, I was plagued with health problems. It wasn’t until my early teens that my epilepsy went away and we discovered that the causes of my endless troubles ultimately stemmed from a rare kidney disorder.

Nearly two decades later, my health issues are things of my distant past, but I’m still a member of the bonus lover plan. I’m not some svelte sexy thing who’s able to squeeze into a size six, and some part of me doubts I ever will be. No, like my personality, my body’s larger than life, and it suits me fine.

I’d rather not ever be thin, despite struggling to lose nearly 20% of my body weight these past two years. During that journey to toneness, I’ve gained a better sense of self than I’ve ever known. Who I am, though, is larger than life, and that’ll never change. Presumably, my body will remain the first clue of my nature for others.

On that same journey, I’ve discovered something else. The “ideal” beauty is seldom our “real” beauty in the eyes of the everylover. While we all lust after our glossy magazine celebs, when it comes to having them as lovers, day in day out, we wouldn’t be interested. Why is that?

I’ve been trying to understand the seemingly incongruous nature between lust and desire. I’m more than able to lust after nearly any man I see, since sexuality for me isn’t a formula, but rather something almost impalpable. You have it or you don’t. When it comes to desire and attraction for the longterm, though, I find myself zeroing in on men who carry a little extra weight on their large frames, provided they dress well and groom well. What is it that makes me want them? I’ll never know, but I know they’re what’s in my mind when I touch myself in the dark.

The point is, we all have a certain make and model that drives our desire, and it may not be worthy of a glossy magazine spread, but they’ll spread just fine for us, thank you very much.

Until this past year, I was always aggressive in my interpersonal dealings, in an attempt to mask my everpresent insecurities. Somewhere along the way, probably when I escaped death last August in a scooter (think Vespa-ish) accident, I realized the insanity of not loving myself for who and what I was, since I had almost ceased to be and had another chance at this merry-go-round called Life. Loving myself then became my number one goal.

After all this time, all this work, I can say it’s true now. I’m a vixen in my own right, in my own way. I’ve also discovered something I’d forgotten: No man has ever complained about my body size to me. The contrary. Back in the day, though, I thought they were trying to make me feel better. I didn’t want to believe they could want me or love me for who I was… because what would that say about them, then?

Now, what it says about a man is evident to me: They understand passion, desire, and they know it when they see it. They see me for all of what I offer — intelligence, wit, charm, stylings, deviousness, sensitivity, romance, dominance, submissiveness, all wrapped into one package that’s just the right size to hold the dynamism of what I bring to the bed and to life as a whole.

A few years ago, I read a study that revealed those who were carrying a little extra weight generally had better sex lives. The scientists were at first stymied by this discovery, until they realized a very simple truth: Food, when done the way food ought to be, is as erotic and sensual as anything we can experience. Those who were overweight were in touch with their sensual selves and sought to enjoy all the delectable goodness offered by life, in whatever form they came, be it bed-bound, baked, or otherwise.

I have found myself besieged by young women of late, all of them emailing me about their inabilities to orgasm. I find myself having to keep explain to them that they got to love themselves — physically and emotionally — before they can handle the Big O. The odds are against them, though, and it’s largely why we sexually peak in our 30s. As young women, we suffer through the most inexplicable expectations from society and the hang-ups we develop are legion. There was a good mainstream example last year in the form of a short-lived TV show called Life as We Know It, with Kelly Osborne in it. A guy fell for her, but admitted he couldn’t handle having her as a girlfriend, because what would his buddies think if he was slapping thighs with a tubby girl?

We live in a society that’s so hung up on appearances that we’ve forgotten the beauty that comes from within. We’ve forgotten how incredibly hot and sexy it can be when someone simply digs themselves for who they are, regardless of their appearance, and can bring that passion and goodness into play in every thing they do every day.

I recall once being asked why I wanted to lose weight. I bit my lip, looked at the ground, thought about it, and responded “Because I want my inside beauty to match my outsides.”

These days, on a good day, I know I already match. In the last decade of my life, I have overcome enormous obstacles — the death of a parent, massive debt, illnesses, a couple near-death experiences, and writer’s block that hounded me for half a decade. But my greatest accomplishment is this: Loving myself.

One of my all-time favourite quotes is Oscar Wilde’s. “To love one’s self is the beginning of a life-long romance.” What can I say? I’m a romantic at heart, and now it shows.